The AP’s “When Frugal Is All in the Family” examines whether or not frugal parents raise children who have absorbed their values. Knox College professor Tim Kasser, who studies materialism, reasoned:
Whether individuals grow up to be thrifty is probably going to be influenced by whether they had a thrifty parent. If parents make saving money fun, give children choices and explain why careful spending is a good way to live, the children will probably get the message.
Those of us who grew up in the 1980s were lucky — back then, Consumers’ Union published the children’s magazine Penny Power, which walked its pre-adolescent audience through the joys of envelope-system budgeting, calculating the cost-per-unit of a six-pack of Bubblelicious, or practicing delayed gratification. If being a careful 6th-grade saver wasn’t exactly a laugh riot, it was thrilling to feel like one had control over one’s finances.
And now, it appears, those of us who grew up reflexively chanting the phrase “opportunity cost” and brown-bagging our lunches are now dating — and trying to figure out how to convey our values when looking for a mate.